Processing campaign 2015

The fourth review campaign 2015 was carried out from 16 May to 14 June in Umm Qais. The focus of the activities was the review of the excavation and survey campaigns between 2001 and 2012. Almost all finds from these archaeological researches are stored in the excavation house of Umm Qais. Few finds were permanently exported to Germany (mostly samples and ceramic sherds for archaeometrical investigations), others are exhibited at the Jordan Museum in Amman. As usual, the excavation results were led by Prof. Dieter Vieweger and Dr. Jutta Häser.

It is indeed easier to report on a small, possibly insignificant excavation campaign than on the well-founded, initially unspectacular review of the archaeological research of the past years. For outsiders, this usually seems tough and tedious. But it is only in the form of a solid excavation publication that excavators can justify the financing of their diggings and, above all, provide science with their results.

As during the campaign in May and June 2015 an important cornerstone was laid for the planned excavation publication of all activities on the tall Zira'a, it must be classified as very successful.

Nine volumes (working titles) have been planned:

Volume 1: Introduction to the "Gadara Region project" (objective, methodology, study area, stratigraphy, dating basis) and the Tall-survey 2001

Volume 2: From early and Middle bronze settlement. Strata 25 17

Volume 3: From the middle to the late bronze settlement. Strata 16 13

Volume 4: From the Iron Age settlement. Strata 12 10

Volume 5: From Hellenistic and Roman settlement. Strata 9 6

Volume 6: From Byzantine and Omayyadischen settlement. Strata 5 3

Volume 7: From Islamic settlement. Strata 2 0

Volume 8: The Region Survey 2009 2011

Volume 9: Archaeometrical Studies (in German language)

Participants: Prof. Dieter Vieweger, Dr. Jutta Häser, Dr. Frauke Kenkel, Katja Soennecken, Patrick Leiverkus, Dr. Sophie zu Löwenstein, Anke Laderick und Antje Cassel.

Dieter Vieweger mainly dealt with the ceramics of the early bronze strata 25 to 21 and with the typology of the stones from the strata 25-10. Jutta Häser evaluated the Byzantine and Umayyad settlements (strata 5 to 3) of the areas I and II and revised the associated plans. Frauke Kenkel completed her work on the ceramics of the Tall Survey of 2001 and the strata 8-6. She also wrote an article on the excavations 2008 and 2014 in Area III together with various colleagues. Katja Soennecken worked on the Bronze Age and Iron Age findings in area I, which was the basis of her dissertation on the development of settlements in the Southern Levant. Patrick Leiverkus created topographical over-view plans of strata 25 to 0. He and Katja Soennecken continued to work on the findings of the Wadi al ' Arab survey, which they carried out in the years 2009 and 2011. Sophie zu Löwenstein organized the publication of the present results. Antje Cassel and Anke Laderick provided the necessary finds and their correct repatriation to the warehouse.

We thank them all very much for the constant and indispensable support!

Furthermore, scientific advice on the dating and interpretation of the inscription on the mosaic from Area III was obtained, which was already recovered 2014. The medallion is an inscription that was affixed as part of a repair of a monastery, presumably from the 6th or early 8th century A.D. In addition, the large cistern below the presumed monastery in Area III was surveyed and investigated more closely.

Mosaic rescue 2014

The first volume is expected to be published at the beginning of 2016. Further volumes are already in preparation. In the year 2014 a groundbreaking decision was made: up to volume 9 all volumes of the Tall Zira ' a publication are published as online publications in English language. This will enable all scientists in the host country, the region of origin and the international research community to be able to perceive and receive the results. The money that would have been necessary for the printing costs will instead flow into a good translation into English and a carefully designed layout. An online publication also offers options that are not available with normal book-publishing, such as incorporating 3D views, linking to film sequences and reconstructions. In addition, book editions on "Print On Demand" are available at affordable prices.

We thank the following institutions for the financial support of this campaign: the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland, the Biblical-Archaeological Institute Wuppertal and the Gerda Henkel Foundation. We also thank the Department of Antiquities of Jordan for their kind support.

Status of information: 2015


The results of the all campaigns from 2001 to 2011

are represented in detail in the final publication.

Project Partners

Biblical Archaeological Institute Wuppertal   (BAI
German Protestant Institute of Archaeology (GPIA)

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His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan ibn Talal  took up the patronage of this project as a representative of the royal house.

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Friends and Donors

  • Kulturhilfe des Auswärtigen Amtes der BR Deutschland
  • Universität Wuppertal
  • Deutsches Archäologisches Institut

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We cooperate closely with many universities, institutes and companies.

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